Do you ever wish you had an interested audience with whom to share your writing? Someone who will listen, make comments beyond, ‘That’s great!’ when you know it’s not?
Postal workshop participants share their work, read what others are writing, make comments and learn from the informed opinions of fellow members of the Society of Women Writers—without moving from their living rooms.
How does it work?
A postal workshop is a group of approximately eight writers, including the editor or leader of the group, whose monthly submissions are combined into a magazine and circulated amongst members. Each member, in turn, receives the package, reads the contributions, makes her comments and, within four days, posts the magazine to the next person on the list. The package finally comes back to the editor who returns the original contributions, together with the comment sheet.
Do I have to be an accomplished writer?
Members of the group are usually at different levels of accomplishment. Beginning writers benefit from the knowledge of those more experienced. The enthusiasm of the new writer encourages those who are inclined to procrastinate. At first, it may seem daunting to produce a short critique for each piece of writing within four days, but most members find it advantageous working to a deadline. Comments are helpful and encouraging.
What genres are included?
Contributions can be prose of any genre, or poetry. Currently, two postal workshops are devoted exclusively to poetry requesting two poems each month. The remaining groups accept both prose and poetry.
What format should I use?
All contributions should be submitted to the postal workshop editor on A4 paper with wide margins. For prose, double or one and a half spacing, for easy reading. For poetry, two pages only; one poem per page or one two page poem.
All contributions to be accompanied by a SSAE (Stamped Self Addressed Envelope), DL (business size) for return of manuscript and comments. The group’s editor will advise you of the date your submission is due, usually the 20th of the month.
What does it cost?
Society members who participate in Postal Workshops pay $10 per year to cover costs.
Postal Work-shoppers meet for a picnic each January. These photographs were taken by Meryl Tobin at the 2015 picnic. Click on one of them to start the slide show.